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OSHA Defines Qualified and Competent Persons, Which One Are You?

Posted by Doug Kotecki on

Happy free day off day. You think they would have called today "Relax Day" instead of essentially "Work Day." Anyway, I digress. Did you know that OSHA actually classifies "Qualified" and "Competent" persons? Which are you?

OSHA describes a "competent" person as someone "...who is capable of identifying existing and predictable hazards in the surroundings or working conditions which are unsanitary, hazardous or dangerous to employees and who has the authorization to take prompt corrective measures to eliminate them."

On the other hand, a "qualified" person is someone "...who, by possession of a recognized degree, certificate or professional standing, or who by extensive knowledge, training, and experience has successfully demonstrated his/her ability to solve or resolve problems relating to the subject matter, work or the project."

I won't read what they officially say about "dumb ass" persons.

The point of this post is that these two classifications are in my opinion, stupid. A competent person is someone that can see something is dangerous and fix it. I don't know many employers that wouldn't allow their employees to correct something unsafe.

Secondly, apparently, a qualified person merely has to have a professional standing, experience, or the ability to solve safety problems in the workplace. That sounds like it could be almost anyone. So, I hereby state that you are both qualified and competent to remove yourself from unsafe working conditions and take measures to prevent fall hazards.

  • Tags: Advice, Archives 2009, OSHA

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